Quotes only - from the below >article< - no comment.|
500 The number of centuries that the Hadzabe tribe has survived without compromising its way of life
Reference data for comparison (from CIA world factbook) - June 2007
GDP - real growth rate: 5.8% (2006 est.)
Copyright notice We transcribed this article for reference purposes only.
'Safari' threat to ancient tribeby Stephanie McCrummen Washington Post/ Guardian Weekly 22.6.2007 page 43
br> One of the last remaining tribes of hunter-gatherers is on the verge of vanishing into the modern world. The transition has been long under way, but members of the dwindling Hadzabe tribe, who now number fewer than 1,500, say it is being hastened by a United Arab Emirates royal family, which plans to use the tribal hunting land as a personal safari playground. The deal between the Tanzanian government and Tanzania UAE Safaris Ltd leases nearly 6,500 sq km of a sprawling valley near the Serengeti plain to members of the royal family, who chose it after a helicopter tour.
A Tanzanian official said a nearby hunting area that the royal family shared with relatives had become "too crowded". A member of the Abu Dhabi royal family had "indicated that it was inconvenient" and requested his own parcel. The official, Philip Marmo, called the Hadzabe "backwards" and said they would benefit from the school, roads and other projects that the UAE company has offered as compensation. But dozens of Hadzabe deep in the scruffy hills surrounding this valley said that although they were ready to modernise slowly, they were not consulted on the deal, which is a direct threat to their way of life because it involves hunting.
They have survived the coming of agriculture, metal, guns, diseases, missionaries, poachers, anthropologists, students, gawking journalists, corrugated steel houses and encroaching pastoral tribes who often impersonate them for tourist money, but the resilient Hadzabe, who still make fire with sticks, fear that the safari deal will be their undoing.
"If they are going to come here, we definitely will all perish," said Kaunda, a Hadzabe man who prefers to wear khakis but still hunts with hand-hewn poison arrows. "Our history will die and the Hadzabe will be swept off the face of the world. We are very much afraid."
Their fear is based on a similar agreement that the government struck years ago with another company that resulted in dozens of Hadzabe men being arrested for hunting on tribal land. Three of the men died of illness in the bewildering environment of prison, cut off from the open world, their daily hunting and their diet of herbs, roots and honey. Three others died soon after being released.
A few groups that advocate on behalf of indigenous peoples are working with the Hadzabe to promote a dialogue with the government and the company, a task that poses special challenges. The Hadzabe are highly decentralised, living in remote, mobile settlements of two or three families scattered throughout the valley. They are egalitarian, with no real hierarchy or leadership, and tend to reach decisions by consensus.
Even if the tribe came up with a solution, it remains unclear whether the Tanzanian government or the UAE company would be willing to compromise. Marmo said the Hadzabe - who until recently had no use for money, organised religion or standard time - are "the one backwards group in the country".
"We want them to go to school," said Marmo, who is Tanzania's minister for good governance and represents the valley in parliament. "We want them to wear clothes. We want them to be decent."
The Hadzabe are believed to be the second-oldest people on Earth. They still hunt and gather as a way of life, if occasionally before audiences of khaki-clad tourists, who flock to northern Tanzania by the thousands. All the Hadzabe live in the Yaeda Valley and surrounding hills.
Gonga Petro, lounging against a rock, reflected on his difficulties. "It's very important to go to work and hunt, but now you can just walk from morning to night and if you're lucky, you might come back with a dik-dik," he said with a sigh, referring to an animal that is embarrassingly small for someone who once slew two zebras, an antelope and a buffalo in a single day. "But there's always an alternative. The baobab. Together with the herbs."
Petro told some jokes about his encounters with the modern world, such as toilets, which he finds unsanitary and strange. He did impersonations in a high, shrill voice of various researchers he has met over the years. And he looked up and asked about stories he'd heard of people going to the moon. "We hear some people were lost in the stars," he said. "Is this true?" Washington Post researcher Charles Ngereza contributed to this report
Copyright The Guardian Weekly 2007 http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianweekly/outlook/story/0,,2107423,00.html